Photo - at home on leave June 1917 Scanned document - Arrival Report, 10 days leave June 1917
Sunday 25th March 1917, Lieutenant Archibald Cecil Margrett, of the 8th Bu. East Lancashire Regiment, was at Rebruviette for bombing (hand-grenade) training. The next day his commanding officer, Major I. M. Campbell wrote to his father to advise that "your son has met with an accident. He was attending a course of instruction in bombing and I know no details.....he has been wounded in both legs and one arm. I am happy to say that the Commandant states that the wounds are not considered ("dangerous" deleted) serious.....very sorry to lose a very promising young officer. " By Monday 9th April 1917 he was back with his unit at Port d'Amiens, under the city of Arras as the hour of the assault approached during which the East Lancs supported for a number of days in the advances beyond the German Brown line. Saturday 9th June 1917 Lt. Archibald Margrett, with permission, left his unit for Boulogne and Folkestone to spend 10 days leave at home in Leywood House, Meopham near Gravesend where his mother was the school headmistress. The War Office form "Arrival Report" states the cause of the return as "Shell-Shock". Wednesday 20th June saw him return to France and his unit. Did that time at home make any difference to his condition? Over the Autumn the East Lancs. moved to the Ypres field and the 8th Bu. was disbanded and he joined the 11th Bu. There were several actions including at Hazebrouck and other fields. On Monday 24th June 1918 Lt Archibald Margrett before the sitting of a Courts Marshall, in field, to face charges of desertion, disobedience and miscelaneous offences according to the Registers in the London Archives. On the line recording this capital charge is written in red ink "acquitted, insane at the time of commission of offence". It seems plain that he had been in the same mental condition since 1917, and on aquital was returned to the unit and it's action in the field. On Wednesday 21st August 1918 his departure at Bolougne by the Ambulance transport St Denis arriving at Dover and on the same day being admitted to the Royal Victoria Hospital, Netley, Southampton, Hampshire. He was under their care until January 1924 when he was discharged from the Army on the grounds of ill-health and received a disability pension for the rest of his life. A sad waste of a life? No. After perhaps two years unemployment, with the help of his sister Dorothy, he was employed by Barclays Bank. He worked for them gaining a circle of friends and getting married. His fiance, Mary Jarrett was called to meet the doctors at Netley under whom his recovery was placed, to be warned about his mental injuries. There were tough times in their marriage not least in the Second World War when he dug a trench in the garden after joining the Home Guard. But he was a very good Father and much acclaimed as a fair and caring Office Manager of Barclays Bank when he retired aged 60. Just before his death in January 1981, he celebrated with Mary their Golden Wedding.